Men, Women and Children
Thursday 9th October, 7.15pm – Odeon Leicester Square
Friday 10th October, 2.15pm – Odeon West End, Screen 2
Saturday 11th October, 8pm – Rich Mix
It must be tricky for modern Hollywood to craft exciting new dramas in an industry that is becoming heavily reliant on re-makes and sequels: audiences seem to have seen it all already. Men, Women and Children offers a slightly new perspective on the genre. This drama revolves around different sets of teenagers and adults in a suburban town where the audience is able to see every aspect of their technological communication.
The visually rich opening scene of a satellite orbiting our solar system, while Emma Thompson narrates our achievements as a species, abruptly cuts to show Adam Sandler attempting to masturbate on his son’s computer – this is a fairly good signifier of what’s in store for the rest of the movie. The immediate focus of the story is introducing the vast numbers of characters and the technological aspect of their communication as we can see every email, text and Facebook message that is sent. It seems that everyone has a fault to overcome as we have: a desperate mum trying to live vicariously through her cheerleader daughter, a depressed football star who just wants to play video games, an anorexic girl in love, a couple who have fallen out of love, a teenager boy who has an unhealthy fixation on porn and a mother who constantly invades her daughter’s privacy.
The interlocking and overflowing of storylines makes the film feel like a long soap opera as we delve into every aspect of the character’s personal lives and see how modern technology has influenced them for better or worse. There is a seemingly pessimistic tone throughout each story ark, with pockets of dark humour sparsely thrown in. Sandler and Dean Norris give memorable performances as washed up dads.
The film is successful when its stories are relatable and feel real, however this is unfortunately a rare occurrence as the plot is rigidly obvious and suffers from a lack of substance. There’s no doubt its heart is in the right place and the technological communication aspect gives it a quirky gimmick but the soap opera feel never gets shaken off, especially in the final part.
Men, Women and Children is released in the UK on 9th October 2014.
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Watch the trailer for Men, Women and Children here: